(Faculty of Law, Monash University, 1997)
As the approaching centenary of federation renews interest in Australian constitutional history, it is timely to examine the colonial constitutions that were current law for the framers of the Commonwealth Constitution. They were the result of the first Australian exercises in constitution-making. Many of their provisions are still in force. This article describes the framing of one of the new constitutions of the 1850s, the Victorian Constitution Act of 1855. The work of the politicians who dominated Victoria at the start of the gold rush, it created the framework for the constitutional crises of the 1860s and 1870s and remains the source of many provisions of the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic).
(Law School, University of New South Wales, 1996)
Recent events have directed attention to the place of the Supreme Court of Victoria in the State constitutional structure, as argument has emerged in the press and elsewhere about legislation reducing the Court's jurisdiction. This article considers the legislation which has led to this controversy, the significance of Victoria's distinctive constitutional entrenchment of Supreme Court jurisdiction, and other aspects of the constitutional position of the Supreme Court.